Sound Transit ridership jumps nearly 10 percent in third quarter 2014

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sound transitTotal Sound Transit boardings increased nearly 10 percent during the third quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013, the agency reported Thursday. The third quarter covers July 1-Sept. 20, 2014.

Year-to-date boardings totaled almost 24.8 million, on pace to exceed the agency’s forecast of 31.1 million boardings for calendar year 2014. Ridership was up on all modes except Tacoma Link and Paratransit.

ST Express bus boardings were up 6.5 percent, with all but two routes showing increases. Growth in commuter ridership was evident, with an 8 percent increase in average weekday boardings, from 57,934 to 62,549. ST Express service levels have remained consistent with 2013 service levels throughout 2014.

Corridors with ridership increases of 10 percent or more included Everett-Lynnwood-Seattle (Routes 510-513), Lynnwood-Bellevue (Route 535), and Issaquah-Seattle (Route 554).

Sounder commuter rail saw a 13.5 percent increase in total boardings. Average weekday ridership exceeded 13,000 boardings, a new record, and both lines experienced growth. High ridership on weekend event trains also contributed toward the overall increase.

Tacoma Link light rail boardings declined during the quarter, continuing a trend that started during the fourth quarter of 2012. However, the decline was very small (-0.2 percent), indicating that the trend may be bottoming out.

Central Link light rail boardings were up 15.3 percent for the quarter, with weekday ridership averaging 37,242 boardings, an 18 percent increase compared to the same quarter in 2013.

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